Author Topic: tobacco smell  (Read 3830 times)

Offline weithman5

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tobacco smell
« on: July 05, 2013, 11:15:14 AM »
i have been busier than a pig covered in s*** lately and i have been meaning to ask if anyone else has experienced this. 

two weeks ago i bottled a beer and the smell was like i had smoked a cigar the night before and was holding my sweatshirt up to my nose.

it was a 2 gallon batch, 22% pilsner, 72 % 2 row, 6 percent melanodan.  with just a little wheat thrown in.
14g hallertauer at 40 and 20 and 14 gm willamette at fwh.

i used the white yeast german lager x.

i am suspicious of a hot ferment but i have never had this smell/taste before.  2 -3 days in to my fermentation (50) i had a problem in my garage and had to tear out all my cabinets. the bucket was put in a corner of the garage and i forgot about it for about a week (80 ish) then took it inside (68-70) for about four more weeks before bottling.  i have fermented too warm in the past but i have not experienced this particular smell. 

do i just blame the process or has anyone else experienced this issue?
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2013, 11:51:14 AM »
I've experienced this many times.  I am pretty sure it's a yeast flavor, that is to say, it is the yeast cells themselves that taste like this, not an ester produced by them.  Yeast either hasn't completely settled out yet, or there's slight autolysis for whatever reason.  If the first issue, it will go away with age.  If the second issue, it will not.
Dave

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Offline weithman5

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2013, 12:22:47 PM »
thanks dave.

it sat in the bucket for about 6 weeks before bottling. finished conditioning few days ago and in fridge now.  we'll see in a few weeks i will try
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2013, 02:42:50 PM »
Sure sounds like autolysis, which will not go away with age unfortunately.  Live and learn...
Dave

"This is grain, which any fool can eat, but for which the Lord intended a more divine means of consumption. Let us give praise to our Maker, and glory to His bounty, by learning about... BEER!" - Friar Tuck (Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves)

Offline gmac

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2013, 05:49:42 PM »
i have been busier than a pig covered in s*** lately and i have been meaning to ask if anyone else has experienced this. 

Yes, I have been busy before too.

Offline majorvices

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2013, 06:04:54 PM »
Maybe I misunderstand but smoke like aroma could be indicative of pedio infection.
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Offline denny

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2013, 06:39:37 PM »
Maybe I misunderstand but smoke like aroma could be indicative of pedio infection.

That's what I was thinking.  I don't recall ever hearing that autolysis produced an aroma like that.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2013, 01:21:17 AM »
The other possibility, if you mean more "ashtray" than tobacco, is scorching. I built an electric kettle once where the element was too close to the bottom of the kettle and the reflection cause scorching that tasted like licking an ashtray (or, that's what I assume licking an ashtray would taste like). Oddly enough you couldn't detect it as obviously via aroma.
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Offline dmtaylor

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2013, 06:58:41 AM »
When I think of the word tobacco, I envision a sort of old rotten leaf flavor.  Not smokiness.  If the beer tastes smoky, it ain't autolysis but something completely different.  But the OP said tobacco, if I understand correctly, not smoky.
Dave

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Offline malzig

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2013, 07:58:02 AM »
A buddy of mine made a great Saison that had a fresh, tobacco aroma.  I believe it was the combination of the yeast and the particular lot of Styrian Goldings that he had.  Probably the best Saison I have ever tasted.

Offline erockrph

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #10 on: July 06, 2013, 09:29:42 AM »
A buddy of mine made a great Saison that had a fresh, tobacco aroma.  I believe it was the combination of the yeast and the particular lot of Styrian Goldings that he had.  Probably the best Saison I have ever tasted.

Yeah, I was thinking along these lines. I get "tobacco" aromas and flavors from Brett and certain hops, as well as some malt-forward beers (I think it's coming from a certain malt, but not sure). When I say tobacco, I am referring to that wonderful aroma of walking into a humidor. Not the cedar, but that nice cured tobacco aroma. Kind of in between fresh cut grass and leather on the aroma wheel. In the right balance, this is certainly enjoyable and desirable to me.

Of course, if you go a bit further you get something like wet leaves or swamp detritus. Those aren't so enjoyable.
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Offline malzig

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #11 on: July 06, 2013, 11:28:02 AM »
A buddy of mine made a great Saison that had a fresh, tobacco aroma.  I believe it was the combination of the yeast and the particular lot of Styrian Goldings that he had.  Probably the best Saison I have ever tasted.
Yeah, I was thinking along these lines. I get "tobacco" aromas and flavors from Brett and certain hops, as well as some malt-forward beers (I think it's coming from a certain malt, but not sure). When I say tobacco, I am referring to that wonderful aroma of walking into a humidor. Not the cedar, but that nice cured tobacco aroma. Kind of in between fresh cut grass and leather on the aroma wheel. In the right balance, this is certainly enjoyable and desirable to me.

Of course, if you go a bit further you get something like wet leaves or swamp detritus. Those aren't so enjoyable.
Exactly what I was thinking.  It reminded me of opening a fresh pouch of pipe tobacco.  I think leather would be close.  Not at all like an old ashtry, though.

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #12 on: July 06, 2013, 03:24:36 PM »
Well, the thread has tobacco in the name but reading OPs post he says "smelled like it smoked a cigar the night before" which doesn't say "herbal" like tobacco leaf. Says smoky, like old ashtray.
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Offline malzig

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2013, 05:37:31 AM »
Well, the thread has tobacco in the name but reading OPs post he says "smelled like it smoked a cigar the night before" which doesn't say "herbal" like tobacco leaf. Says smoky, like old ashtray.
Just trying to clarify the range of flavors and aromas that might be described as tobacco, and where they might come from.   Also, that tobacco, in itself, isn't a negative descriptor for beer that implies a rotten smell.  Ashtray... that's a negative descriptor that, like you, I would associate with the smokey phenolics that might come from a wild yeast and a hot ferment.  A little tobacco flavor might accentuate the association with an ashtray.

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Re: tobacco smell
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2013, 07:28:53 AM »
Point I'm making; if you focus on the title of the thread you are missing his point, me thinks (even assumes). He says it smelled like holding up a dirty sweatshirt in which you had smoked a cigar the previous night. That's not "tobacco" aroma, which can be very pleasing if you are talking about the smell of an un-smoked cigar. His description in his post sounds smoky as in phenols.
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